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Can an NPS overhaul get higher response rates?

By Jay Nathan

Do you ever open a survey, only to find a huge set of questions and immediately close it? You’re not alone.

I’ve used Net Promoter Methodology for years. It’s sometimes called the “one number needed to grow”, as It basically asks your customers two important questions:

1. How likely are you to recommend us to someone else? (1 – 10 scale)

2. Why did you answer the way you did?

There is power in the simplicity of this survey.

Simplicity drives high response rates

Do you ever open a survey, only to find a huge set of questions and immediately close it? You’re not alone. Just take a look at this graph by SurveyMonkey comparing length of surveys and drop-off rate. 

The good news for NPS is that on average, only 2% of customers will drop your convenient, 2-question survey. Along with requiring simple answers, embedding your NPS survey in emails from actual employees, instead of a generic accounts or no-reply addresses, will increase your survey engagement even more.

We recently worked with a client to overhaul their NPS process and increased response rates by 3x in the first month. 

Synthesize and share the responses

With such an important metric like NPS, you want to take the time to read every response and organize feedback accordingly. The best way to tackle synthesizing NPS survey data is to first perform a quantitative analysis to identify your score, followed by a qualitative analysis to delve into the reasons behind the rankings. You’ll find that client responses likely fall into three different categories, all of which require unique follow-up:

→ Plan to engage with detractors to gather more information from them

→ Push neutrals to increase engagement with your product or company

→ Ask promoters to serve as a reference for you in the future

Facilitate this process continually, but don’t overwhelm your customers

A good rule of thumb to follow when selecting the timeliness of sending out your NPS survey is only survey customers as frequently as you can process the data and create a response plan. There would be no purpose to this process if you didn’t spend sufficient time evaluating, tracking, and personally addressing customer responses. Though you should aim to collect responses every month, the same client should only receive the survey about once on a six-month rolling basis. 

Align the schedule with the customer journey

Sending an NPS at key points along your client journey yields beneficial information about how your customer experience differs along the way. Engaging customers at every stage, from onboarding, to renewal and advocacy, brings your NPS full circle and closes the feedback loop. Don’t forget to survey lost customers, as they often provide some of the most helpful insights. 

Don’t stop with NPS

NPS is part of a larger initiative to measure, monitor and improve customer experience. It takes coordinated, cross-functional initiative to maintain and improve CX. 

Published January 21, 2019
About the Author

I've spent my career working in technology companies to build customer-centric teams, processes and technology platforms. In 2017, I founded Customer Imperative, a consulting firm that helps fast-growing B2B SaaS companies improve renewals, increase expansion sales and scale customer engagement. See full bio ›

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